Nika

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About Nika

  • Rank
    Eggcase

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Germany
  • Interests
    sand cockroaches (Polyphaga spp., Arenivaga spp. ...) and their drinking mechanisms

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  1. Hi stanislas! To keep you updated, unfortunately I couldn't place an order yet, but if there is a chance and you are still interested, I will let you know! Maybe there is a chance for me to work further on this project in the next years and then I will definitely need the roaches I sent you an email with the paper about Heterogamia syriaca, did you receive that? I would be very happy, if you could send me the titles of the papers you mentioned (as long as it's not solely Chinese). My Polyphaga aegyptiaca seem to be very resistant in dry conditions as well as they can endure long periods of desiccation and large weight losses. But no signs of water vapor absorption in these animals yet. How are your roaches doing?
  2. Hello again! Sorry for taking so long to reply! At the moment I am still not sure how they manage to get enough water, but besides the condensation mechanism I don't know any specific other mechanism described for sand cockroaches. Water uptake via the soil could be a possibility, but I have never observed the roaches eating moist soil. What I cold see several times was that one of my large females came up to the surface and started to lick water after I moistened one corner and there were still droplets of water on the box. To me it is still a puzzling thing is that I saw several structures in nymphs and females of Polyphaga aegyptiaca under the microscope that look very similar to those found in Arenivaga investigata and are responsible for the water vapor uptake. I think this was not described yet and to me it just does not make any sense to have these structures but not use them for condensation. I wonder why these maybe lost their functionality? Heterogamisca chopardi also looks interesting! Did you also see that Heterogamia syriaca seems to be able to condense water vapor, too? (http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=XE8311535 ) I think the paper is not available online but if you are interested, I could send you a scan. Unfortunately, Kyle from roachcrossing didn't answer to my mails yet. I want to test the animals for a possible missing step how they actually manage to extract the condensed water from the fine hairs. But for this we would need live animals to do some video recordings while they are absorbing. A colleague of mine is flying to Washinton D.C. in november for a conference and could bring the animals to Europe if someone ships some animals to a friend of mine in Washington D.C. Does anyone know someone who is willing to ship Arenivaga within the US (besides Kyle)? This would make me really happy! Stanislas, if you still want to have some Arenivaga too, maybe we can share an order. My university will take care of the export and import stuff that needs to be done and there is probably a higher possibility that at least some animals will arrive alive. So I am thankful for any ideas where to get Arenivaga in the US Nika
  3. Thank you for the update! Since I've been waiting for a long time for his reply, this is very good news! Do you think he will be able to send animals within the next month?
  4. In the last days I have asked some other people, who in turn are asking other people... so if I find someone selling Arenivaga or a closely related species, I will let you know! Maybe it could be possible to place an order together to lower the costs for everyone. Are you interested in any specific Arenivaga species? I wanted to buy A. genitalis and A. tonkawa and am still hoping that Kyle answers my E-mails soon! Of course it would also be great to get an ootheca, but unfortunately it is not easy to predict when or even if they are hatching, so this could result in a lot of waiting. But would be still happy for every animal I can get! I also considered digging for roaches in the sand, but I think the university will not pay for my vacation in the US. Yes, I am interested in their ability to condense water vapor on structures at their mouth. So far it is described in literature that Polyphaga aegyptiaca is not able of this condensation mechanism but I found structures which are similar to those already found in Arenivaga. In some other experiments quite a few years ago, P. aegyptiaca just seemed to lick up liquid water with their hypopharynx. This makes it even more interesting to compare the species!
  5. Hello again Sorry to bother you again, but unfortunately Kyle seems to be so busy at the moment that he was not able to send me Arenivaga roaches yet. Do you by chance know anyone other than him who is selling these roaches? And I wanted to ask, if there is maybe anybody who collected some dead roaches and could send them to me? I am quite desperately looking for these and I couldn't find any breeder in Europe selling Arenivaga species. For now I am still working with Polyphaga aegyptiaca (luckily they seem to do very well with lots of egg cases, but nothing hatched yet :D) but this species seems to have other adaptations for drinking than what I want to investigate in Arenivaga. Thank you in advance!
  6. I really hope this was due to the stress, it's just a shame that it was one of my two adult females. The temperatures are at least in the low 70s, and rise a bit during the day, so that shouldn't be a problem I think. I was just a bit concerned, because I am also keeping Shelfordella lateralis and these are much more active.
  7. Hi guys So far most of my roaches seem to do well, thanks again for all your advide! But unfortunately one of the adult females died a few days after arriving. She was in an upright position at the top of the substrate for about one day and moved less and less when I touched her. Is this behavior normal for dying roaches and did someone experience a similar situation? She also had something looking like mold at her anus. The other roaches showed no signs of illness, but in the daytime they rarely move at all unless I move their container. When are your roaches mostly active? They probably move more in the nighttime, but I am keeping the animals at my university, so I cannot control this. Could the room temperature be to low? By the way: Is it okay to write in this thread again or should I start a new one for special topics?
  8. Thanks, I also hope that they do well! I want to keep one corner moist, but I am not sure how moist it needs to be as I want to prevent molding. Can you give me some advice on that? And do you feed fresh food from time to time? I am afraid that they might not have enough water. Now I am just feeding dog food in addition to the hardwood leaves.
  9. My roaches arrived this week! I have now two adult females and two adult males and about 25 nymphs of different sizes. At first they were very excited and explored their new home but now they are all buried or hidden under the leaves. The box also contained four egg cases. Do you know if they need any special treatment? And is there any chance to estimate how long it will take until hatching?
  10. Thanks a lot for your advice! I just thought the leaves outside might be too old and moldy due to the wet winter and could possibly make the roaches ill. But then I try to search more dry leaves. Can you recommend any specific type of tree that they like most? I've read that oak is a good choice for many roaches?
  11. To keep you updated on my research project: I got some dead roaches, but unfortunately no Arenivaga investigata yet. I was able to buy some Polyphaga aegyptiaca in Germany, which will hopefully arrive on monday. I already bought some dog food but also want to feed dead hardwood leaves. Can I collect the leaves outside and dry them? I am not sure if I should feed them, as they do not look that good after the winter. And I was thinking about coconut fiber as substrate, does anyone have experience with that?
  12. Their diet does not seem to be too complicated. Do they get along well with lower room temperatures or do you think it is better to provide some source of heat?
  13. I hope to keep some Arenivaga in the future, so it's useful to know how to keep them well. What do you feed them? I was already lucky to get some dead animals that I can investigate but of course observing the animals alive would be the best. I am really excited to find out more in the next weeks about their adaptations though. If it works out well, I am sure there will be more questions arising.
  14. It's interesting to hear that the males of A. bolliana could be more sensitive to dryness. This would support the idea that different mechanisms for water uptake in males and females are common among different Arenivaga species. Do the roaches have with liquid water accessible or do you just keep them in moist substrate? It would be really interesting to know if they need liquid water (or much water from food) or if they can cover their water demand by living in humid air.
  15. Thanks a lot for your fast answers! I have to admit that the field of entomology is quite new to me, so I am happy for every advice. @lovebugfarm Thanks for your hint for Kyle and his website! He even seems to sell A. bolliana but I'm afraid there is probably no possibility to ship them over to Germany. The high air humidity is indeed something that has to be considered and I am currently still figuring out which species can really tolerate very low humidities. @Hisserdude To me it would be interesting to know if you have ever observed any differences in the behavior of male and female animals, such as prefering different areas (dry/moist) or different depths of the substrate? And have you seen differences in the losses due to desiccation between the genders? I've heard that the nymphs and females could be somehow more resistant to water deprivation.